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Antwerp 70.3

[:)]Has anyone done Antwerp 70.3? If so what is the course like and would you recommend it for a 1st half ironman? Any thoughts would be appreciated. [&o]


  • Hi Chrisg,

    I did the Antwerp 70.3 this year as my first Half Ironman and would recommend it (though I have nothing else to compare it with).

    The swim is in the sailing lake on the left bank of Antwerp and is well orgainsed, the bike is flat but quite boring and fast. You basically ride our 15 miles and then start 1 of 2 loops, at the end of the 2nd loop you start the ride back into Antwerp. The majority of the ride is through industrial estates and although flat it's very exposed and was extremely windy (great on the way out but horrible on the way back). The run is a 4 loop affair and at the end of each lap you pass through the town square and past the finish line (the crowds here were amazing) then back out on to the run course, there was lots of support and 2 feed/drinks stations (every 2.5km), it is also flat as a pancake.

    Things to be wary of

    [ul][*]It's hot, very hot! It topped 30 degrees this year so wear lots of sunblock and make sure you drink loads.

    [*]The bike is windy.

    [*]Food is cheap and there are lots of places to eat pasta in the old part of Antwerp (where the run and finish is)

    [*]Beer is not so cheap, however drink wine and you'll save a fortune (actually cheaper than water in a resturant, 1ltr water 6euro, 1ltr wine 5 euro)[:D][/ul]

    I am going back next year for 2 reasons, 1) I really enjoyed it this year and 2) I really want to beat my time.

    Oh and I forgot to mention, it only cost £65 to enter, and it's an MDot event - how cheap is that!!!!!
  • Many thanks for that info. Not too sure about two things, the wind and the heat! But sounds a good course to try for my first half ironman. Might see you there next year. I have to sort out the best travelling arrangements as I live in Guernsey. What time did you do it in? [&:] Was the swim ok as that is my poorest bit! [&o]
  • I did it in 6:18hrs but had a complete mare (and wasn't really fit, it was more about getting round really) and it was all my own fault. I messed up my hydration and even made the schoolboy error of playing with my seat height 20 mins before the race, which resulted in it being about 1cm too high. I reckon if I had the seat at the right heights and hadn't used a previously untested carb drink in the race I would have taken at least 45 mins off my bike time, as it is I felt sick from mile 25 so couldn't put any real power down and the seat was too high so couldn't get into the tri-bars at all. As for the heat as long as you wear sunblock you'll be fine I think.

    The swim is in a boating lake, fairly clean, but the usual scrap for the first 700m at least, that said I got round 10 mins quicker than I though I would and exited the water in 350th place (out of a 1000).

    For my first one I enjoyed it and have 2 planned for next year (UK and Antwerp) I have caught the bug big time.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    All things said above are quite right. One remark though: as a Belgian athlete I can assure you that those 30 degrees are as unique here as they would be in your country. I did a race a week later and we started the swim in pouring rain and the rest of the course in +- 20 degrees. The HIM Antwerp '07 race was exceptionally warm( unless the climat is really heating up that fast[8|][;)]).

    So I wouldn't let the heat stop me.
  • bunongbunong Posts: 49
    I havn't done the event but it sounds good if a little boring as its very flat - when your cycling don't get distracted by pretty women in the shop windows it plays havoc with your aero-position!!

    I go to Antwerp on business and its a great place for a weekend, so while your slogging round the course your wife/partner can go shopping, eating, sight seeing etc etc. Really good city.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    There's a positive and a negative side to that, bunong.

    She definately won't get bored; since the city is known for its fashion and diamonds. The negative one is obvious then: don't give her your credit card or you can kiss that piece of carbon or upgrade goodbye[image]http://forum.220magazine.com/micons/m14.gif[/image][:D]
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Oh yes, and about the bike section being boring: there is a loop outside the city that you need to do twice. So you'll probably get passed/pass by lots of other riders, so you definately won't fall asleep on your steed.
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